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Survey: Passwords Will Be Eliminated Within 10 Years

Businesses nationwide are increasing their cybersecurity budgets and exploring alternative authentication techniques to passwords—with 66% of them moving beyond passwords.

According to a survey from SecureAuth, amidst the growing rate of cyberattacks, the attitudes towards passwords have changed drastically. A whopping 59% of professionals surveyed said their company experienced a data breach in the last 12 months. In no small part due to this as well as high-profile security compromises like the Ashley Madison attack, companies have learned that password-only policies can leave personal information quite vulnerable.

On top of that, password recall can waste company resources. The survey results noted 85% of cybersecurity professionals believe employees frequently contact the help desk because they’ve forgotten passwords—with more than one in three (37%) saying their employees do this all the time.

In all, 91% of cybersecurity professionals agree that the traditional password will not exist in 10 years. And, 97% of respondents also believe new authentication techniques are reliable (such as fingerprint scans or two-factor authentication).

The survey also found that while security investments are increasing, challenges remain. First, the good news: About 95% of respondents think their companies will increase security spending in the next year. Of that number, nearly half (44%) expect to do so by 20% or more.

Will heftier budgets be put towards preventative measures or post-breach clean up? The survey results point to the former: 62% of respondents believe managing the consequences of data breaches cost their companies more than protecting against them. But IT professionals face an ongoing battle, owing to market pressures that tend to get in the way of prioritizing proactive cybersecurity. In fact, 87% of cybersecurity professionals admit their company is frequently forced to choose between user experience and greater security.

Against this backdrop, 81% of cybersecurity professionals think new authentication methods are prohibitive because they require the latest technology and most up-to-date software.

“This survey very clearly indicates there is an appetite for multi-factor authentication solutions beyond the traditional password,” said Craig Lund, CEO of SecureAuth. “Advances in adaptive authentication have brought to market a number of options that help users stay both secure and productive by layering multiple methods, such as device recognition, analysis of the physical location of the user, or even by using behavioral biometrics to continually verify the true identity of the end user. Integrating these types of solutions may take a little time, and a redirection of budget—but I’m hard-pressed to think of a worthwhile cybersecurity endeavor that doesn’t. In this day and age, proactivity is much more important than reactivity.”

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